Out of Sri Lanka events

Out of Sri Lanka events


The editors of Out of Sri Lanka will be appearing at numerous events this year following the anthology's publication in June 2023. This first ever anthology of Sri Lankan and diasporic poetry – many exiles refuse to identify as “Sri Lankan” – features over a hundred poets writing in English, or translated from Tamil and Sinhala. It brings to light a long-neglected national literature, and reshapes our understanding of migrational poetics and the poetics of atrocity. Poets long out of print appear beside exciting new talents; works written in the country converse with poetry from the UK, the US, Canada and Australia. Poems in traditional and in open forms, concrete poems, spoken word poems, and experimental post-lyric hybrids of poetry and prose, appear with an introduction explaining Sri Lanka’s history.

Vidyan Ravinthiran was born in Leeds, to Sri Lankan Tamils. His first book of poems, Grun-tu-molani (Bloodaxe Books, 2014), was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize and the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. His second, The Million-petalled Flower of Being Here (Bloodaxe Books, 2019), won a Northern Writers Award and a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. It was shortlisted for the 2019 Forward Prize for Best Collection, the 2019 T.S. Eliot Prize and the 2021 Ledbury Munthe Poetry Prize for Second Collections.

Seni Seneviratne, a writer of English and Sri Lankan heritage, is published by Peepal Tree Press, with books including Wild Cinnamon and Winter Skin (2007), The Heart of It (2012), and Unknown Soldier (2019). Unknown Soldier is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, a National Poetry Day Choice and was highly commended in the Forward Poetry Prizes 2020. She is a fellow of the Complete Works programme for diversity and quality in British Poetry, with work included in Ten: new poets from Spread the Word, ed. Bernardine Evaristo & Daljit Nagra (Bloodaxe Books, 2010). She is currently working on an LGBTQ project with Sheffield Museums entitled Queering the Archive.

Shash Trevett is a Tamil from Sri Lanka who came to the UK to escape the civil war. She is a poet and a translator of Tamil poetry into English. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies and journals (including Poetry, Poetry London and The North), she has read widely across the UK and is a winner of a Northern Writers’ Award. Her pamphlet From a Borrowed Land was published in 2021 by Smith|Doorstop. Shash has been on judging panels for the PEN Translates awards and the London Book Fair, and was a Visible Communities Translator in Residence at the National Centre for Writing. Shash is a Ledbury Critic, reviewing for PN Review and the Poetry Book Society and is a Board Member of Modern Poetry in Translation.




Thursday 8th June 2023, 1pm-2pm

York Festival of Ideas, University of York

Online event

Infinite Remembering: Poetry beyond love and war

Shash Trevett and Vidyan Ravinthiran, two of the Out of Sri Lanka co-editors, will join Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley to introduce and lead the discussion on this new anthology, which features over 300 poems written in English, or translated from Tamil and Sinhala. Hear excerpts read by some of the poets, and find out how this diverse collection brings to light a long-neglected national literature and reshapes our understanding of migrational poetics and the poetics of atrocity.

This event is facilitated by Anthony Vahni Capildeo FRSL, Writer in Residence at the University of York.

Free online event - booking essential.  Book here.


Thursday 20th July 2023, 6.30pm

Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts presents 'Out of Sri Lanka' at GemArts Masala Festival 

Culture Lab, Newcastle University

GemArts' Masala Festival will bring together the three co-editors of Out of Sri Lanka, Vidyan Ravinthiran, Seni Seneviratne and Shash Trevett, who will be in conversation with the host Professor Preti Taneja, Director of NCLA.  They will be reading from their own work, and also introduce recordings of a selection of poets reading from the anthology. The event will include a Q&A. 

Presented by GemArts, Bloodaxe Books and Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts

Tickets: FREE in-person event (booking essential)



Thursday 12 October 2023

Event at Winchester Poetry Festival

More details to follow.

[18 May 2023]

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